NATIONAL COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month reminds us that early detection is a key to treating colorectal cancers. The month-long observance shines a spotlight on risk factors, research, and aims to raise awareness.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than a million people in the United States count themselves as survivors. While early detection and treatments make a difference, there is more that can be done. Knowing the causes and risk factors helps prevent colorectal cancer.
Risk Factors We Control
Diet – Studies show that diets rich in red and processed meats may contribute to colorectal cancer risks. Also, how we prepare our proteins may increase our risk, too. Grilling, frying, and high-temperature cooking release chemicals that may contribute to colorectal cancer risks. Diets full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains reduce our risk of colon cancer as well as other health risks.
Exercise – Sedentary lifestyles and obesity are two more risk factors for colorectal cancer. Once again, physical activity helps to reduce our risk factors for another disease.
Smoking and heavy alcohol use – Quit the one and limit the other. Ask your physician if you need help with either one.
Family history – While you can’t control this, you can know it. Report it to your primary care physician so if your family history shows an increased risk for you, she can decide if you need early screening. Knowledge is power.
WHY COLORECTAL CANCER MONTH IS IMPORTANT
The earlier the cancer is found, the better chance the person has to beat it. That is why early detection is so important.
Though it’s a deadly disease, it’s a treatable disease. Surgery is the primary form of treatment and results in a cure approximately 50% of the time.
It’s easy to detect.
A cancerous polyp can take as many as ten to 15 years to develop into cancer. With regular screening, doctors can remove polyps before they have the chance to turn into cancer.
NATIONAL COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH ACTIVITIES
Do some research.
The scientific medical community is always coming up with new discoveries and new findings, and the statistics change over time. Do some research and educate yourself so that your awareness improves and you can pass that knowledge on to those around you.
Talk about it
Though the word ‘cancer’ is difficult to bring up on its own, this cancer is common, and nothing to be ashamed of. You could save a life if you recommend a friend to get screened.
Post on social media
Share the knowledge of this preventable disease, and encourage others to do the same, shame-free.